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Night Terrors Not Included In Claim?

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desperatelyseekingsusan

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Hi. My husband's PTSD claim was finalized about 18 months ago-- 50%. Throughout the process the VFW officer who helped him did not include any documents/information about my husband's sleep disorder of night terrors. The last 15 or so years the terrors got out of control. My husband now sleeps under a cargo net stretched tightly over his sheets to keep him safely in bed.

During the terrors, he leaves his bed while still asleep and has broken bones, gone out the window head first, run into the walls... he has to sleep in a separate room with only a mattress. He takes clonazepam so that he can get some sleep. But the clonazepam leaves him hung over the next day. He has developed sleep apnea, and I think it is the sedating effect of the drugs causing the apnea. He is thin and fit. He also was diagnosed with, and takes medication for, periodic limb movement, which the psych says is most likely due to the apnea.

Why would this not be relevant? Is it because it all falls under the umbrella of PTSD?

My husband had to retire disabled from his teaching position before they fired him. The medications and lack of good sleep made it very difficult for him to work effectively as a teacher-- poor cognition, slow processing, difficulty concentrating, horrible memory, anxiety.His sleep is poor and it causes all kinds of issues. I cannot imagine anyone employing him for very long.

Any feedback would be appreciated as to why this would not be included in the claim.

Edited by desperatelyseekingsusan
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“claim was finalized about 18 months ago-- 50%. “

Did he file a Notice of Disagreement in time to challenge the percentage?

“Throughout the process the VFW officer who helped him did not include any documents/information about my husband's sleep disorder of night terrors. “

But if the sleep apnea and any other secondary conditions due to PTSD or due to SC meds were not formally claimed,in the original claim, and no NOD was a filed, he will need to open a new claim on that.

“Why would this not be relevant? Is it because it all falls under the umbrella of PTSD? “

What is relevant to VA is the evidence of the prime disorder and any secondaries that are formally claimed.

There is no actual PTSD 'umbrella' because it affects veterans in many different ways. But I do understand what you mean.

My husband suffered from nightmares and often was afraid to go to sleep.

This was stated as part of his initial PTSD claim in 1983 and sleep disorders are common in PTSD veterans but in your husband's case, they are pronounced and appear to be causing the apnea.

It could be from the meds but it will take a doctor's statement to service connect the apnea as secondary.

I suggest that he apply for SSDI-Social Security Disability Insurance payments .And also apply for TDIU.

He can receive both with no offset.

Although VA only considers TDIU at the 70% rate, he can apply for TDIU regardless of his VA percentage.

The TDIU form and more info can be found here at hadit.

When did he receive the 50% decision?

If something is not formally claimed early on,. The eventual C & P exam will not cover it,and VA does not have to rate it.

It looks to me like the vet rep missed the significance of considerable evidence here to support a higher rating but, if your husband didn't appeal the PTSD rating in time (one year after decision) that claim is over.Did he question the decision and did the rep advise filing a NOD?

He could re-open the PTSD claim with new and material evidence (which is anything they didn't have in the first claim would help) adding claims for the secondaries.

In my opinion, I would do both- file for TDIU and SSA and re-open the PTSD claim and formally claim the secondaries.

“Throughout the process the VFW officer who helped him did not include any documents/information about my husband's sleep disorder of night terrors. “

Since sleep disorders are common to PTSD veterans, it is quite possible the rep didn't realize how pronounced his sleep problems are and their effect on his employment.

This is why many vets here often say that the veteran ,his or herself ,is the BEST vet rep they will ever get.

Regardless of having a vet rep or NSO, and solid medical evidence , being a proactive claimant is often what makes a claim succeed.

It has sure worked for me.

Cooter asked a good question- has he been tested yet for SA?

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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Berta,

My husband went back to the person who helped him through the process (actually, the person who initiated it retired and he had to see someone else through the end) and asked him why the sleep disorder was not even considered since it significantly impacts his ability to perform at work, or anywhere for that matter. The rep said it couldn't be proven SC. I don't know how he came to that conclusion because it was never addressed with the VA.

When my husband told him he wanted to appeal, adding the sleep disorder as an obstacle to his employability, the rep said, "you can't work at all? doing anything? and told my husband 50% was all he could get. We believed at the time that the rep may have appointed himself as gatekeeper... just saying.

At about the same time, my husband went to the local vet center for possible counseling/support group. He asked the counselor why the sleep issue was being ignored and couldn't he appeal, the counselor told him, "the VA is not a welfare system". At this point we just needed to get on with life. Coping with symptoms AND the filing process AND comments like these is grueling as everyone here knows.

If one has to be 70% to be considered for TDIU, then why do you suggest filing for it?

We will apply for social security disability as you suggest. And he is going to re-open the PTSD for the sleep disorder. He has been tested, several times. It was in the most recent sleep test that the apnea was diagnosed.

Thank you, Berta.

~ Susan

Edited by desperatelyseekingsusan
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Hi. My husband's PTSD claim was finalized about 18 months ago-- 50%. Throughout the process the VFW officer who helped him did not include any documents/information about my husband's sleep disorder of night terrors. The last 15 or so years the terrors got out of control. My husband now sleeps under a cargo net stretched tightly over his sheets to keep him safely in bed.

During the terrors, he leaves his bed while still asleep and has broken bones, gone out the window head first, run into the walls... he has to sleep in a separate room with only a mattress. He takes clonazepam so that he can get some sleep. But the clonazepam leaves him hung over the next day. He has developed sleep apnea, and I think it is the sedating effect of the drugs causing the apnea. He is thin and fit. He also was diagnosed with, and takes medication for, periodic limb movement, which the psych says is most likely due to the apnea.

Why would this not be relevant? Is it because it all falls under the umbrella of PTSD?

My husband had to retire disabled from his teaching position before they fired him. The medications and lack of good sleep made it very difficult for him to work effectively as a teacher-- poor cognition, slow processing, difficulty concentrating, horrible memory, anxiety.His sleep is poor and it causes all kinds of issues. I cannot imagine anyone employing him for very long.

Any feedback would be appreciated as to why this would not be included in the claim.

desperate,

Chronic sleep impairment is included in a rating for PTSD, at the 30 percent level.

I think it would be good to read over the rating decision from about 18 months ago

to see exactly why the VBA awarded the 50 percent and see if the issue of sleep impairment

is mentioned in there.

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial, circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships . . . 50

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as forgetting names, directions, recent events) . . . 30

If he feels these "night terrors" are related to his PTSD, maybe he could talk

with his medical provider more about this issue.

If he decides to now to file a claim for "night terrors" the VBA might say he's already

SC'd and compensated for this - that's another reason I'd read the prior decision over

several times.

Below is a remand from BVA to study.

http://www.va.gov/ve...es5/0836038.txt

"Schedule the veteran for a VA

examination to determine the nature and

etiology of any current sleep disorder,

including a night terror disorder. Any

indicated tests should be accomplished.

The examiner should review the claims

folder prior to examination. The

examiner should opine as to whether it is

more likely than not, less likely than

not, or at least as likely as not, that

any current sleep disorder, including a

night terror disorder, is etiologically

related to service or to service-

connected PTSD.

A rationale for any opinion expressed

should be provided."

Below is another BVA decision to study

http://www.va.gov/ve...es5/0637572.txt

"THE ISSUE

Entitlement to an evaluation in excess of 10 percent for an

anxiety disorder with night terrors.

ORDER

An evaluation in excess of 10 percent for an anxiety disorder

with night terrors is denied."

Carlie passed away in November 2015 she is missed.

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At this point your husband should file a claim for increase if his symptoms have gotten worse. Filing a claim for IU is an automatic claim for increae.

"Don't give up. Don't ever give up." Jimmy V

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Berta,

My husband went back to the person who helped him through the process (actually, the person who initiated it retired and he had to see someone else through the end) and asked him why the sleep disorder was not even considered since it significantly impacts his ability to perform at work, or anywhere for that matter. The rep said it couldn't be proven SC. I don't know how he came to that conclusion because it was never addressed with the VA.

When my husband told him he wanted to appeal, adding the sleep disorder as an obstacle to his employability, the rep said, "you can't work at all? doing anything? and told my husband 50% was all he could get. We believed at the time that the rep may have appointed himself as gatekeeper... just saying.

At about the same time, my husband went to the local vet center for possible counseling/support group. He asked the counselor why the sleep issue was being ignored and couldn't he appeal, the counselor told him, "the VA is not a welfare system". At this point we just needed to get on with life. Coping with symptoms AND the filing process AND comments like these is grueling as everyone here knows.

If one has to be 70% to be considered for TDIU, then why do you suggest filing for it?

We will apply for social security disability as you suggest. And he is going to re-open the PTSD for the sleep disorder. He has been tested, several times. It was in the most recent sleep test that the apnea was diagnosed.

Thank you, Berta.

~ Susan

http://ecfr.gpoacces...1.98.11&idno=38

§ 4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual.

(b) It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards should submit to the Director, Compensation and Pension Service, for extra-schedular consideration all cases of veterans who are unemployable by reason of service-connected disabilities, but who fail to meet the percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran's service-connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue.

If he has a diagnosis for sleep apnea, that is completely different than night terrors and would need

a nexus as either secondary to something SC'd or to active duty.

JMHO

Carlie passed away in November 2015 she is missed.

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